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Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/8/2 13:21
I'd like to hear from everybody about their personal favourite budget restaurants (by which I mean like 500-800 yen per person maximum, I'm on an extreme budget here!) in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto... also (on the off chance you have them) Kinosaki, Miyajima (or the mainland area around Miyajimaguchi station),Okayama, and Kanazawa!

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!
by cheap traveller (guest)  

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/8/2 17:00
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/8/2 21:14
University cafeterias!

Some prefer the Ministry cafeterias, but I like the universities and its surroundings better.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/14 10:34
Some of my favorite budget restaurants (these area all chains so you can find them throughout Japan):

Coco Ichibanya for curry (example: simple beef curry will cost 580 Yen): http://www.ichibanya.co.jp/menu/list.html?cid=1

Tenya for tempura (example: shrimp/veggie tempura bowl costs 500 Yen): http://www.tenya.co.jp/menu/index.html

Hanamaru Udon (example: a small, no frills udon costs 105 Yen): http://www.hanamaruudon.com/menu/

And of course, there are all the different gyudon (beef bowl) places:

Yoshinoya: http://www.yoshinoya.com/menu/index.html

Matsuya: http://www.matsuyafoods.co.jp/menu/

Sukiya: http://www.sukiya.jp/

Nakau: http://nakau.co.jp/menu/cgi-bin/check.cgi?area=don

All these gyudon restaurants also have cheap breakfast sets, I would always eat here in the mornings. Hope this helps!

http://japan-hub.com/
by L (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/14 16:24
Thank you L for the list.

I find Japanese set meals too small in portion.
I think a man will definitely find the bento types too light or too simple.

Which of the budget restaurants are better for full meal sets with more variety of food in it ?
by Lee (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/14 21:37
I never thought that teishoku sets were particularly small in Japan. I believe that they typically provide 700-1200 calories. The portions are geared for the average Japanese man. But needs vary, of course. You can simply order more items to round out your meal. Inexpensive chain places almost invariably have a list of side dishes on the menu that you can order to extend a teishoku set, and you can usually specify a large portion (oomori) of rice. If it's a place that sells coupons for tickets from a machine in front of the store, there will be buttons for side dishes. Sometimes, refills on rice and miso soup are free.

I like to go to the "self" udon shops (like Hanamaru), where you can select your own individual side dishes from a large selection. I also like Tenya, where you can order individual pieces of tempura, as many as you like.
by Uma (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/14 23:30
In Okayama, demi-katsudon is a local specialty and also affordable, so you may want to try it. Nomura Ajitsukasa is the place to go:
http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/21ca04/

Another local favorite is Kabakuro Maeda. Delicious pork over rice:
http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/21fd5c/?pageNum=2

Both of the above are within your price range and allow you to experience Okayama cuisine.
by Rabbityama rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/15 07:41
Uco,

Can you go into the ministry buildings as a regular person off the street? You don't need to have ID for the building?

Uni cafeterias are often very reasonable and classes will be starting in most places either next week of the week after.
by girltokyo (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/15 07:50
I can see how the set meals would be too small for a man. If you like ramen and udon then those would probably give you the biggest bang for your buck. The ones I'm listing here are popular chain restaurants so you should be able to find at least one of them in the larger Japanese cities:

Ippudo Ramen: http://ippudo.com/products/menu.html

Ichiran Ramen: http://www.ichiran.co.jp/english/html/oshinagaki.html

Hanamaru Udon: http://hanamaruudon.com/menu/

Marugame Seimen (udon): http://www.toridoll.com/en/shop/menu.html

One great thing about the two udon restaurants I listed is that they also sell tempura items (averages about 100 Yen per piece) so you can add those on to balance out your meal.

In terms of rice dishes, I'd say your best bet is curry places. The most popular one is Coco Ichibanya
http://www.ichibanya.co.jp/menu/list.html?cid=1

I've made a pretty comprehensive list of inexpensive chain restaurants on my blog, if you have time you can check it out here:

http://japan-hub.com/2013/09/14/japan-eat-a-list-of-inexpensive-chain-...

by L (guest) rate this post as useful

Ministry cafeterias are open to public 2013/9/15 12:27
girltokyo,

Ministry eat-ins seem to be still open to the public. I used to go there all the time, although in the pre-911/Sarin days, but even today as I search keywords like Ȓ@H we see lots of information written by fans.

In particular, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries seems to be popular at the moment. They support food from the affected areas of the previous Great Earthquake and Tabelog reviews prove that they are worth a visit.

Keep in mind that also your local ward office or city hall most likely have cafeterias that are open to the public, although they may be much smaller than the ministries.


The following Japanese informations on Minstry eat-ins are just for reference.

http://www.maff.go.jp/j/press/shokusan/ryutu/130612.html
http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1308/A130802/13046764/
http://bunchin.com/kasumi/008.html
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/15 16:01
Thank you for all the suggestions. Able to find cheap places to eat will encourage more tourists, especially those from countries poorer than Japan to have a longer stay visit.
I understand that the Japaneses signs for their shops will not have their names as pronounced in English. Hope those who are not providing any links that we can check for the Japanese sign can provide the kan-ji characters to their recommendations. If not, we cannot find them too.

How do I recognise the Hanamaru shops ?
by Lee (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/15 16:07
L,

I see your link for the "Hanamaru". I recognise the word hanamaru in Japanese. Is Hanamaru the brand name or a type of noodle shop ? Can I find soba in all Hanamaru shops ?
I see the "big, small, medium". The difference in size means different in portion size of the individual item or different in number of items that make up the set ?
In foreign countries, they are seldom sold in different size.
by Lee (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/15 16:32
About Hanamaru.

Hanamaru is a name of udon restaurant chain. They have no soba, as udon is their specialty.

The small, medium, and big refers to the amount of the udon noodle in one bowl. Small is one portion of udon noodle, medium has two, and large has three portions in one bowl.

They say extra for rice or curry for some menu items will be 105 yen extra.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/15 17:01
The majority of cafeterias in Japan have plastic food samples displayed. Under the samples, the name of the meals are shown. Even in smaller restaurants, photos are shown on their menu.

It's much more practicle to check the name meals as you check the samples/photos, because each restaurant may have a special name for their special recepes. Nowadays, your degital camera will be a good tool for recording them and showing them to the clerk.

Of course, the following page is a great illustrated guide as well.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e620.html
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/15 18:03
Hi Lee,

I see that AK pretty much already answered your question.

As to how to recognize a Hanamaru Udon shop, all of the shops I've seen have a sign like the one in this blog post:

http://japan-hub.com/2013/08/31/japan-eat-hanamaru-udon-on-a-rainy-day...

The portions shown in the post are large bowls of udon. The entire meal (2 bowls of udon + fried foods) only cost 1600 Yen.
by L (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/16 02:07
Ok, I get it.
So middle size is double quantity of udon over the small and large is 3 times the small, is that right ? In that case the 100 odd yen extra for each portion is not expensive; but can that egg and veggie on the noodle be ordered extra ?
by Lee (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/16 07:43
And of course you have MOS Burger for burgers; very cheap and quite an amazing quality for their price. You can easily order a Burger, Side dish and a Drink for less than 800 yen; way less if you just order the cheap stuff and buy a drink at the nearest vending machine.
by aerond rate this post as useful

Re: Favourite budget restaurants? 2013/9/16 13:30
Hi Lee,

When you say the egg + veggies ordered extra do you mean that you want an extra serving of them? If that's the case, I don't know how much more it would cost. Maybe 150 Yen or so?

If you mean that you don't want the egg + veggies, then you can just order a plain udon. A large one at Hanamaru would only set you back 315 Yen.
by L (guest) rate this post as useful

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